How Smart Are You?

Great post here from Dave Kraft, Leadership Development Pastor at Mars Hill Church.

For as long as I can remember, smart was equated with intellect and brain power. Smart had to do with grades in school, SAT scores, and one’s GPA. This was the case until author Daniel Goleman kicked the old paradigm in the head in 1997 by writing Emotional Intelligence, which redefined how we understand intelligence. Goleman makes a case for relational intelligence that knows how to get along with others; being smart at building collaborative relationships. The good news is that emotional intelligence (EI) is not fixed, as IQ is generally thought to be. EI can be nurtured and strengthened in everyone.

Real Wisdom = Healthy Relationships

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere” (James 3:17).

It seems to me that James is equating real wisdom with healthy relationships. Is he leaning toward EI rather than IQ in describing wisdom that comes from the Lord Jesus? I find it helpful that Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of James 3:17 in The Message starts the verse off with, “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others…”

This is the era of the team, not the solo leader. Leadership today is more about enabling and empowering than bossing direct reports around out of personal intellectual brilliance. Leaders who are good at developing and maintaining healthy relationships and tapping the power of those relationships will be the most valuable leaders to an organization or church. Long gone are the days in leadership where the know-it-all does it all as he sits at the top and dictates while both under-valuing and under-appreciating what others bring to the table.

So, how smart are you?

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